TAG: career success

My Brilliant Career: Messages to Inspire Today’s Musicians

The June 3, 2012 New York Times Sunday Review section featured a series of essays from 5 prominent people in different fields entitled “My Brilliant Career” reflecting on the “crooked paths to success”.

I was delighted to see that music figured prominently in this round-up since the writers included the brilliant composer and my colleague at the Yale School of Music, David Lang and pop record label president Jonathan Poneman, as well as politician Olympia Snow, the novelist Hilary Mantel, physicist and polymath Leonard Mlodinow.

The article, aimed at college graduates, shows us that the path to success is often a series of odd jobs and bizarre circumstances.  Moreover,  there are a number of themes that resonate powerfully for the creative people with whom I work.

Let’s take a cl0ser look.

Case Study of 4 Music Entrepreneurs: How do they do it and what keeps them going?

Many young musicians wonder how to go about creating a career in music.  They may have a general idea of what they want to do but they are not sure of the steps to take.  To help them see that it is indeed possible to create a successful career path in music,  I invited four recent alumni of the Yale School of Music (who graduated from YSM between 2004 and 2010) to talk to my students about their career paths and what they have learned about creating successful careers as musicians in today’s world. 

The panelists were:

Timo Andres: pianist/composer with a hit CD and an active freelance career as a pianist and composer;

Tina Hadari: violinist, member of the Haven String Quartet and founder of Music Haven, a non-profit in New Haven that provides tuition-free string instruction to underprivileged youth;

Paul Murphy: free-lance trumpeter and teaching artist with the NYPhilharmonic; and

Sam Quintal: violist and member of the Jasper String Quartet.

This wonderful group of artists showed my students that it is indeed possible to make one’s way in the world as a musician and that there are many different paths to creating career success.  Here are some of the top lessons that I gleaned from their remarks.  Next time, I will share my students’ observations.

Financial Freedom for Music Entrepreneurs Part II: Abundance and Career Success

Your attitude about money says a lot about how you make, spend and save your money.   How do you feel about your money?A lot of people have fears around how to manage their money which can hold them back from taking the first steps towards financial freedom. ((Take the Financial Freedom Quiz-Part I,  to assess your attitudes and learn more …

Top 10 Tips for Music Entrepreneurs: How to Create Sustainable Career Success

With the year coming to a close, it is time for top 10 lists.  My contribution to the field is a top 10 list for Music Entrepreneurs on how to create career success.  This list reflects my belief that successful music entrepreneurs align who they are with what they do  .

The short answer is be authentic, be unique, and master the skills that will enable you to create big dreams and make them happen. Not surprisingly, this list reflects the topics that I will be covering in my class next semester at YSM on Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts.

Here are my top 10 tips for musicians who are committed to creating and sustaining authentic success:

How to Develop the Mindset of a Music Entrepreneur: 5 Tips on Positivity

I was quite taken with a recent blog post in Music Career Juice on how musicians should not look to businesses as a model for how to operate but instead to aspire to be expressive energy grids – generating, transforming and distributing energy continually.  Since I teach musicians how to create career success, this got me thinking more about the kind of energy that one brings to a situation in order to be successful.

We have all heard about “negative” and “positive” energy.  Think of what it is like to be surrounded by a group of people who complain and bemoan the state of the world, which we hear a lot of these days in the world of the arts:  orchestras like Philadelphia declaring bankruptcy, fewer spots available in orchestras, the weak economy.  I could go on but I don’t want to add to the doom and gloom!  That’s what negative energy can do-bring you down.  And because energy is transferred, if enough people in the room are spinning out negativity, it tends to drag down others.
Let’s look at another scenario:

How to Spot Your Strengths: A Music Entrepreneur’s First Step in Identifying What Makes You Unique

The start of the academic year is a great time to reflect on strengths since it is my belief that knowing and developing your strengths is one of the basic elements of creating success.

Moreover, for musicians, knowing your strengths is key to creating your brand—the message that sets you apart from others—as well as a beacon of light when your confidence is flagging and you need a boost to remember what your talents really are.

How do you spot strengths?

Communication 101 for Music Entrepreneurs: Know Your Communication Style

In my recent post about what it takes to be a successful musician in the 21st Century, one of the skills that I mentioned was Communication Skills.  What do I mean?

Musicians need powerful communication skills in many different settings:

  • In ensembles to make sure that the group is on the same page musically, listening carefully to each other so that the music flows;
  • In collaborations with other artists to maximize the synergies and create a powerful experience for the collaborators and their audiences;
  • Engaging their audiences so that the audience members will appreciate the music and have a deeper and richer understanding of the performance;
  • Teaching so that their students understand how they can improve and grow and learn;
  • Creating something new, be it a festival, a non-profit organization or an ensemble, and getting people on board to support the new venture
  • Networking so that they can meet and connect with other people.

Effective communication is a powerful leadership skill.  It starts with knowing who you are as a communicator and what are your strengths.  One way to do this is to know your communication style.

Networking for the Music Entrepreneur: The 4-Step Process to Career Success

As I am preparing for my new role at the Yale School of Music as Coordinator of Career Strategies, I have been talking to a number of people in the field who are also devoted to helping musicians succeed in their careers.  This week alone, I have had 3 conversations about networking and how critical it is to career success.  Most musicians know this.  Yet, so often they are reluctant to do start networking because of an underlying fear about networking.  In my classes and private sessions, I often hear how scared people are to network because they think that they have to “sell” themselves.  If that’s the predominant thought, no wonder people shy away from networking!  So it’s important to come up with a new way of thinking about networking:

Connect + Share + Be Relevant

Not so hard, right?

In fact, when I introduce this concept to my students and my clients, I hear a collective sigh of relief in the room! And once they have a new way of thinking about networking, it becomes much easier to embrace the principles and start networking.

Music Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century: A Mindset, A Skillset and a Process

I consider myself ever so fortunate since I am in contact with a continuous stream of talented, intelligent, successful professional musicians, in my work as a career coach, guest lecturer the Yale School of Music, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music and now as the new head of Career Strategies at YSM.  As such, I am constantly on the lookout …